French Hoods and Gable Hoods.

Headwear is one of the most important things to be studied for my ongoing research into trend history as small changes to an accessory is much easier to create overnight than major changes to a whole dress.

In order to establish a rather detailed time line for the fashions of the late middle ages and the renaissance in France and England I set out to study two iconic types of ladies’ headwear: the French hood and the English hood, also known as a gable hood. No item of either kind of hood has survived to our time, so my study has been limited to painted portraits, preparatory drawings for painted portraits and funeral effigies.

Apart from the time lines my studies resulted in new theories on the construction of the French hood and the gable hood respectively, and reconstructions were created putting the theories to the test.

My findings concerning the French hood resulted in a heavily illustrated paper. Hidden in Plain Black: the Secrets of the French Hood is found in the international journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles, vol. 14, published in April 2018. This paper also holds the patterns used for my experimental reconstruction of an English version of the French hood from about 1540. As an appendix to the paper a tutorial video was created explaining the interaction of layers and the tailoring involved in my experimental reconstruction of this French hood.
French Hood reconstruction

An unpublished paper demonstrates how the study of French hood details in a portrait might provide helpful information regarding a dating of the portrait in question.

Creating an experimental reconstruction of an English hood/gable hood/pediment headdress was the topic of another project. The paper From Hennin to Hood: An analysis of the Evolution of the English Hood Compared to the Evolution of the French Hood is currently being considered for publication in Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Part of its content was presented at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds in July 2017. The presentation was accompanied by my finished experimental reconstruction of a gable shaped hood as portrayed in Hans Holbein's portrait of Queen Jane Seymour from 1536-1537.

The paper presents my interpretation of the evolutionary trails leading from the tall headwear of the middle ages to two iconic types of hoods of the renaissance period. The French hood and the English hood might look very different; one favouring rounded shapes while the other holds a lot of angles and (almost) straight lines, but all the same I find them to have a lot i common.

A tutorial video demonstrates the theory that the English hood should be interpreted as the reult of separate items interacting to create the final look. It also shows the techniques involved in creating this experimental reconstruction.

 English hood aka gable hood

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Link to the survey of articles concerning late medieval and early modern headwear.
Link to the English index page of Høskuldsson Design.